One of the up-and-coming forces within the middleweight ranks in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will be missing from the UFC 200 card this weekend as Wilmington native Derek Brunson was a late scratch, citing vision problems due to a head injury during training.
Brunson, who’s currently ranked No. 11 in the UFC’s middleweight rankings, was forced to pull out of his bout with Gegard Mousasi. The 32-year-old from Wilmington is currently 6-1 in his past seven trips to the octagon. The Hoggard alum and UNC-Pembroke All-American wrestler last fought at UFC Fight Night 83 in February, defeating Roan Carneiro. He won his last three by TKO, only taking a combined five minutes and 33 seconds combined.
Brunson’s fight with Mousasi was to serve as a preliminary bout on July 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Brunson is very active on social media and posted the following statement on Twitter (@DerekBrunson) to announce the news.
‘Not fighting at UFC 200. I had lasik (PRK) 4 years ago. Initially I thought I needed a touch up but after getting my eyes checked twice that wasn’t the case. I don’t recall getting hit in the eye during training. But my vision has been blurry and double vision for almost 2 weeks. Sucks I’ve been training about 4 months for the fight and I won’t be able to compete. But I always try to find the positive in things. Still 6-1 in the UFC, 4 wins in a row. Ranked #11 in UFC rankings and top 10 in Sherdog and MMAjunkie MW rankings. Hopefully the vision will clear up soon & I can get booked soon with Mousasi, Whitaker, Vitor, Santos or Henderson.’
Brunson has since tweeted after three eye appointments he’s been cleared to get back to training, with the hopes of booking his next fight at UFC 202 and UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden in New York.